Police name suspect in West Jefferson quadruple murder

Local News

WEST JEFFERSON, Ohio (WCMH) — Police have named a suspect in the West Jefferson quadruple murder.  

According to the West Jefferson Police Department, John Paul Steckel, 35, has been charged with four counts of murder in the May 24 shooting that left four people dead. Police say additional charges will be requested in a future Grand Jury hearing.

Steckel is currently being held in the Franklin County jail on unrelated charges.

During a news conference, Monday, West Jefferson Police Chief Christopher Floyd said Steckel’s name came up early in the investigation. 

“I’m not going into any of the details at this point…following the investigation, between video surveillance, the village of West Jefferson, residents, businesses, all came together and provided videos from many things: from doorbell cameras to security cameras. And when those were all put together, and the timeline put together, we positively identified him,” said Floyd.

The victims have been identified as:

  • Andrew Thomas Swindall, 45, of the 100 block of Jackson Street, West Jefferson.
  • Shawn A. Wright, 45, last know address in London, Ohio.
  • Jamie Danielle Lavender, 30, of Springfield.
  • Leon Billy Daniels, 38, last known address in London, Ohio.

According to Floyd, police received a 911 call of a man lying near an apartment building on Jackson Avenue, with a possible gunshot wound, at approximately 5:25 p.m., on Monday. He said three of the victims were found inside the apartment building, while one of the victims was found outside of the building.

Three of the victims were found inside an apartment while one of the men was found shot outside the apartment. Police did not specify which victim was found where.

Floyd said Steckel and the victims knew each other, and robbery was a possible motive in the shootings. Floyd added that Steckel is currently on probation at the local, state, and federal levels and has a lengthy criminal background.

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